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Analog Science Fiction and Fact - May 2016 - Vol. CXXXVI No. 05
Edited by Trevor Quachri
Cover Artist: Agsandrew/shutterstock.com
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog  ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 28 March 2016

Links: Analog SF & F / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The May 2016 of Analog features stories by Ryan W. Norris, Andy P. Smith, Howard V. Hendrix, Ian Creasey, Brendan DuBois, Bethany Gilton, Shane Halbach, and Lettie Prell, a fact article by Edward M. Lerner, poetry by Timons Esaias plus the regular features.

The May 2016 issue of Analog is here and it's a very good issue!

The short fiction begins with "Not Quite Taterona Kempi" by Ryan W. Norris. -+- This is a story told initially in two parts. One is fifty million years from now when humans are extinct but have left records for the evolved creatures that now populate the Earth. The other is the actual story of a man named Dr. James Freeman whose record has been opened by these future creatures. They come together in an interesting manner.

"The Language of Flowers" by Ian Creasey -+- Travis Chase and Harriet Ormonde run a specialty flower shop which emphasizes the language of flowers, rooted in the Victorian age. Ormonde is the artist and designer. Chase is the businessman. Chase runs into a problem with some Cornish nationalists upset that he had developed a racism flower for the funeral of one of their members at the request of the deceased granddaughter. They would like to see a patriotism flower for an upcoming event. The Victorian flower of patriotism is the nasturtium so he goes with that, but he has a plan of his own in mind. Clever and delightfully done.

"The Treaty Breaker" by Brendan DuBois -+- Janet Crosby is chairman of the board of selectmen of Near Earth Object 1820 Geographos when it is invaded by a group of supposed Poles supposedly from the UN supposedly there to check on their treatment of their children. They disabled their systems and came on board without any communication claiming authority from the old UN Outer Space Treaty. Crosby figures out they are Russians. She figures they are dissatisfied with a recent treaty and want to hijack Geographos to use as a rock to threaten Earth. What can they do with no weapons. Herb, their expert farmer, comes up with a solution. Great story!

"Promised Land" by Bethany Gilton -+- Moses is part of the crew of a ship headed deep into space with everyone else in cryogenic suspension until they reach their goal. A prior awakened crew member named Robert had misused his responsibility and endangered the ship. Moses is doing his best to fix it but does have a way to take his mind off his task for some recreational activity. Another good story.

"O What Freedom, This Great Steel Cage" by Shane Halbach -+- Three people, Liv, Mahir, and Nick, take turns leaving their regular bodies to operate a robotic body. They each have different reasons for doing so and the residue of the occupation of one of them can affect the other. Each have different reactions to the whole experience. And there is a bit more to the story than that. Perfectly done short-short.

"Artifice of Eternity" by Lettie Prell -+- Sixty-Eight years ago, when they were in college, Carl Racker had shot Deon Pharoah in the stomach when he found out that Deon had been sleeping with his girlfriend for the past year. Deon was taken to the hospital, dismissed it as a flesh wound and had not even pressed charges. In the present day, Deon has died of complications from an intestinal obstruction caused by the gunshot wound and Carl is on trial for his murder. Carl's defense attorney has one witness for the defense, the deceased Deon Pharoah. I won't spoil the rest of the story and just say it was a thoroughly enjoyable read and very well done.

"Mountain" by Andy P. Smith -+- Jennifer Williams' son, Stephen, has killed himself up on a place called the Mountain. Policeman take her to a place so she can identify a body. George is in charge there. This takes place in some grim future in which any kind of power failed. It was briefly revived by a mysterious Battery and then, that stopped, too. We are told little more than that. We just get 11 pages of grim trudging up the Mountain. If you want to read that, go ahead.

The short fiction concludes with "The Infinite Manqué" by Howard V. Hendrix. -+- A story is told about an experiment to enhance the minds of bonobos through a drug, its effect on one bonobo named Panto and what would become Panto's obsession with re-creating a lost play of Shakespeare based on a novella by Cervantes. Shifting viewpoints are a bit confusing at first but an intriguing idea and what becomes a poignant tale of scientific hubris.

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